The one where I’m a 2 year old with a splinter

My finger is pink and throbbing and my throat trembles with a sob. The memory is flooded by the yellow glow of the lamp by the couch. Daddy sits and draws me to him. Even sitting, his knees are still as high as my chest.

“Ok, let me take a look, sweetie.”

I remember his big, warm hands tilting my finger for examination. So gentle, so safe.

“You have a little splinter–see that? I’m gonna get it out for ya.”

He must have explained. He always explained. Patient, child-size words for my reassurance were always in abundance. My Daddy has a teacher’s heart.

The next thing I remember is the blanket over my head, a sheltering shadow of fibers glowing in the lamplight while the warm hands tenderly coaxed the painful spot.

The edge of the blanket hung below the huge knees. My finger and its splinter were out there, in the brightness. All I could see were the shoes below and the yellow light pressing pinkly through the weave of the blanket while my wound was probed.

I didn’t need to see it; I needed only to stand still and open my hand so Daddy could fix me.

This week, I was shifting loads of laundry from one machine to the next when God pulled this memory, dripping with intensity and light, from the archives of my memories. Hubby was shocked that I could remember so much at age two! I’m not really sure how I can, but I’m thankful. Since that moment with the laundry, I’ve turned this memory over and over in my mind like a shining penny, relishing it for the truth it deposited in my tiny-girl heart.

She was loved.

She was safe.

Even if her finger hurt, Daddy could be trusted.

Twenty five years later, I am so thankful that I have a daddy who–by his tenderness, his compassion, his gentleness, his delight in his daughter–set the stage for me to know God, the Father.

Daddy, I know you’ll read this. I love you, and happy birthday. 🙂 

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